Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Although the canoe was a principal means of travel in ancient Hawaiʻi, extensive cross-country trail networks enabled gathering, harvesting other necessities for survival.

Famed for his energy and intelligence, King Piʻilani and his son Kiha constructed the legendary Alaloa or long trail known as the King’s Highway.

It was built about the time Christopher Columbus was crossing the Atlantic, before there were roads in Hawaiʻi.  Back then, they were trails and Piʻilani was ruler of Maui.

According to oral tradition, Piʻilani unified the entire island of Maui, bringing together under one rule the formerly-competing eastern (Hāna) and western (Wailuku) multi-district kingdoms of the Island.   Piʻilani ruled in peace and prosperity.

Four to six feet wide and 138-miles long, this rock-paved path facilitated both peace and war.  It simplified local and regional travel and communication, and allowed the chief’s messengers to quickly get from one part of the island to another.  The trail was used for the annual harvest festival of Makahiki and to collect taxes, promote production, enforce order and move armies.

The southeastern section of the island of Maui, comprising the districts of Hāna, Kīpahulu, Kaupo and Kahikinui, was at one time a Royal Center and central point of kingly and priestly power – Piʻilani ruled from here (he built Hale O Piʻilani – near Hāna.)  This section of the island was also prominent in the later reign of Kekaulike.

Royal Centers were where the aliʻi resided; aliʻi often moved between several residences throughout the year. The Royal Centers were selected for their abundance of resources and recreation opportunities, with good surfing and canoe-landing sites being favored.

Long before the first Europeans arrived on Maui, Kīpahulu was prized by the Hawaiian aliʻi for its fertile land and abundant ocean.  The first written description of the region was made by La Pérouse in 1786 while sailing along the southeast coast of Maui in search of a place to drop anchor:

“I coasted along its shore at a distance of a league (three miles) …. The aspect of the island of Mowee was delightful.  We beheld water falling in cascades from the mountains,  and running in streams to the sea,  after having watered the habitations of the natives,  which  are  so numerous  that a  space of  three or four leagues (9 – 12 miles, about the distance from Hāna to Kaupō) may be  taken for  a single village.” (La Pérouse, 1786; Bushnell)

“But all the huts are on the seacoast, and the mountains are so near, that the habitable part of the island appeared to be less than half a league in depth.  The trees which crowned the mountains, and the verdure of the banana plants that surrounded the habitations, produced inexpressible charms to our senses…”

“… but the sea beat upon the coast with the utmost violence, and kept us in the situation of Tantalus, desiring and devouring with our eyes what it was impossible for us to attain … After passing Kaupō no more waterfalls are seen, and villages are fewer.” (La Pérouse, 1786; Bushnell)

With the development of the whaling industry on the island in 1880s the southeastern Maui population started to decline as people moved to main whaling ports, such as Lāhainā.  In the early-1900s, one of the regular ports of call for the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company was here at Kīpahulu. Steamships provided passenger service around Maui and between the islands.

Kīpahulu Landing also provided a way for growers and ranchers to ship their goods to markets. (Today the land where Kīpahulu Landing existed is private but protected with a conservation easement, overseen by the Maui Coastal Land Trust (now part of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.))

The Hāna Sugar Plantation, formed in 1864, gradually increased production by expanding cane plantings toward Kīpahulu Valley.  (Cusick)

However, shortly after World War II, Paul I Fagan, an entrepreneur from San Francisco, bought the Hāna Sugar Co, formed a ranch and started tourism on this part of Maui.

It had been only 20-years since Hāna was linked to the outside world by a rough dirt road, and it would be almost two decades more before it was paved.

In 1946, Fagan built a small six-room inn, called Kaʻuiki Inn (it was later expanding and is now the Travaasa Hotel Hana.) Fagan’s guests consisted of his friends as well as sportswriters, one of which gave Hana the current name of “Heavenly Hana.”  (Maui College)

Near here was ʻOheʻo; here was a succession of several waterfalls tumbling from one pool into another and so on up the gulch.  (One interpretation of the name Oheo is “moving origin” – suggesting all pools as one (Yardley.))

In order to entertain guests and promote tourism in East Maui, employees at Fagan’s Inn crafted a legend that these pools had been reserved exclusively for Hawaiian Royalty and, therefore, were considered a sacred site.  (Cusick)

Billed as Hawaiʻi’s “Seven Sacred Pools” to attract tourists, ʻOheʻo Gulch actually has a series of 24 bowls that carry water down the slopes of 10,023-foot Mount Haleakalā to the sea.  (NY Times)

Then in the 1960s, Kīpahulu residents Charles Lindbergh and Sam Pryor, and philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller, concerned that public use of this area may be lost, worked to protect it.  Through their efforts, Kīpahulu Valley and ʻOheʻo Gulch became the Kīpahulu District of Haleakala National Park on January 10, 1969.  (NPS)

This part of the Park is located about 15-minutes past Hāna town, near mile marker 42 on the Hāna Highway (Road to Hana) after it turns into Highway 31.   Attractions include the ʻOheʻo Pools, a car-accessible campground and several maintained trails, such as the four-mile Pipiwai Loop Trail to Waimoku waterfall.

The image shows some of the ʻOheʻo pools.  In addition, I have added some other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

H Hackfeld

On September 26, 1849, sea captain Heinrich (Henry) Hackfeld arrived in Honolulu with his wife, Marie, her 16-year-old brother Johann Carl Pflueger and a nephew BF Ehlers.

Having purchased an assorted cargo at Hamburg, Germany, Hackfeld opened a general merchandise business (dry goods, crockery, hardware and stationery,) wholesale, as well as retail store on Queen Street.

In 1850 he moved to a larger location on Fort Street. This store was so popular, it became known as "Hale Kilika" - the House of Silk (because it sold the finest goods available.) As business grew, the nephew took over management of the store while Hackfeld traveled the world for merchandise. The company took BF Ehlers' name in 1862.

Hackfeld developed a business of importing machinery and supplies for the spreading sugar plantations and exported raw sugar. H Hackfeld & Co became a prominent factor - business agent and shipper - for the plantations.

Its shipping interest, manufacturing and jobbing lines developed a web of commercial relationships with Europe, England and the eastern seaboard of the US. German whalers were still sailing the Pacific in the 1850s and Hackfeld bought and outfitted several whalers, brought in Pacific Coast lumber beginning in 1855 and engaged in the trans-shipment trade.

By 1855, Hackfeld operated two stores, served as agent for two sugar plantations, and represented the governments of Russia, Sweden and Norway. (Later the firm or its principals also represented Austro-Hungary, Belgium and Germany.)  When Hackfeld left on a two-year business trip to Germany and Pflueger took charge in his absence.  (Greaney)

In 1871 Hackfeld and Pflueger both went back to Europe to launch a German affiliate in Bremen. There they placed into service a line of ships sailing under the Hawaiian flag between Bremen and Honolulu with wheat, oil, wool and hides for the Islands and sugar shipments on the way back.

The old Honolulu Courthouse site was advertised for sale at auction in the Pacific Commercial Advertiser of May 9, 1874; H Hackfeld & Co bought it at the upset price of $20,000. As reported by the Hawaiian Gazette, "It is the best business stand in Honolulu."

Then, the Treaty of Reciprocity (1875) between the US and the Kingdom of Hawai‘i eliminated the major trade barrier to Hawai‘i’s closest and major market.  Through the treaty, the US gained Pearl Harbor and Hawai‘i’s sugar planters received duty-free entry into US markets.  Sugar boomed.

In 1881, Hackfeld and Paul Isenberg became partners.  Isenberg, who had arrived in Hawaiʻi in 1858, had extensive experience in the sugar industry, previously working under Judge Duncan McBryde and Rev. William Harrison Rice in Kōloa and Lihuʻe.

From that time on Mr. Isenberg was a factor in the development of the Hackfeld business, which became one of the largest in Hawaiʻi.

Hackfeld became the first Swedish and Norwegian Consul in the Islands. In 1862, he returned to Hamburg, and afterwards to Bremen, where he settled and managed the business of H. Hackfeld & Co. there until 1886, when he retired from the firm.  In 1886 Hackfeld sold his interest in the company and returned to Germany; he died there on October 20, 1887.

When the partnership was incorporated in 1897, a new building was erected at the corner of Fort and Queen Streets; it stood there for 70-years.

After the US annexation of Hawaii in 1898, Isenberg returned to Germany to live; however, he retained the role of president, with Hackfeld's son, Johan (John) Friedrich Hackfeld serving as 1st vice president and Isenberg's son, Alexander Isenberg as 2nd vice president.

John later took over; however, he, too, returned to Germany in 1900.  His cousin, George F Rodiek, became the executive in charge of H Hackfeld & Co.  (Weiner)  In 1905, Rodiek built an estate in Nuʻuanu.

A few years later, with the advent of the US involvement in World War I, things changed significantly for the worst for the folks at H Hackfeld & Co.

In 1918, using the terms of the Trading with the Enemy Act and its amendments, the US government seized H Hackfeld & Company and ordered the sale of German-owned shares.  (Jung)

The Alien Property Custodian's Office noted, "The powerful German hold on the sugar industry of the Hawaiian islands has been crushed. The control of Hawaii's most important industry has been restored to its people."

"This is the effect of the announcement of A Mitchell Palmer, alien property custodian, that he had completed the Americanization of the H Hackfeld Co, the threat German owned corporation which for years has played so important a part in the sugar situation of the Hawaiian islands."

"Mr. Palmer Americanized this German concern by ... selling the entire assets and business of the German Hackfeld Co to (an) American company, whose stockholders are all loyal American citizens, most of them residents of the Hawaiian islands."  (Alien Property Custodian's Office; Daily News Almanac, 1919)

The patriotic sounding "American Factors, Ltd," the newly-formed Hawaiʻi-based corporation, whose largest shareholders included Alexander & Baldwin, C Brewer & Company, Castle & Cooke, HP Baldwin Ltd, Matson Navigation Company and Welch & Company, bought the H Hackfeld stock.  (Jung)  Thus, the German-started H Hackfeld & Co became one of Hawaiʻi's "Big Five."

(Hawaiʻi's Big 5 were: Amfac - starting as Hackfeld & Company (1849;) Alexander & Baldwin (1870;) Theo H. Davies (1845;) Castle & Cooke (1851) and C. Brewer (1826.))

At that same time, the BF Ehlers dry goods store also took the patriotic "Liberty House" name.  In 1937 a second store was opened in the Waikiki area. Eventually there would be seven stores on Oahu, and several more on the other islands.

During the 1970s, Liberty House expanded into California, Nevada and Washington, but the Washington stores were sold in 1979 and the California and Nevada locations were sold in 1984.  In 2001, Federated Department Stores Inc bought Liberty House, Hawaiʻi's oldest and largest department store chain, and turned it into Macy's.

American Factors shortened its name to "Amfac" in 1966.  The next year (1967,) Henry Alexander Walker became president and later Board Chairman.  Walker bought the former Rodiek estate.

Over the next 15-years, Walker took Amfac from a company that largely depended on sugar production in Hawaiʻi to a broadly diversified conglomerate. After adding so many companies, Amfac sales were $1.3 billion by 1976, up from $575 million in 1971.  (hbs-edu)

After subsequent sales of controlling interests in the company and liquidation of land and other assets, in 2002, the once dominant business in Hawaiʻi, the biggest of the Hawaiʻi Big Five, Amfac Hawaiʻi, LLC filed for federal bankruptcy protection.  (TGI)

The image shows the former Hackfeld, then AmFac building at Queen and Fort Streets (it was demolished in 1970.)    In addition, I have included other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau

“The ancient system consisted in the many tabus, restrictions or prohibitions, by which the high chiefs contrived, to throw about their persons a kind of sacredness, and to instil into the minds of the people a superstitious awe and peculiar dread.”

“If the shadow of a common man fell on a chief, it was death; if he put on a kapa or a malo of a chief, it was death; if he went into the chief's yard, it was death; if he wore the chief's consecrated mat, it was death; if he went upon the house of the chief, it was death.”

“If a man stood on those occasions when he should prostrate himself, (such as) when the king's bathing water... (was) carried along, it was death. If a man walked in the shade of the house of a chief with his head besmeared with clay, or with a wreath around it, or with his head wet... it was death.”

“There were many other offenses of the people which were made capital by the chiefs, who magnified and exalted themselves over their subjects.”  (Dibble)

The social rules for interaction with gods and members of the chiefly class were legion, and death by human sacrifice was the default punishment in many cases.  (Shoenfelder)

Puʻuhonua were locations which, through the power of the gods and the generosity of the chiefs, afforded unconditional absolution to those who broke taboos, disobeyed rulers, or committed other crimes.  (Schoenfelder)

Ethno-historical literature, and available physical, cultural, and locational data, note at least 57-sites across the Islands.  Puʻuhonua tended to occur in areas of high population and/or in areas frequented by chiefs.  (Schoenfelder)

These range from enclosed compounds such as Hōnaunau, to platforms (Halulu on Lānaʻi), to fortified mountain-tops (Kawela on Molokaʻi), to unmodified natural features (Kūkaniloko on Oʻahu) and to entire inhabited land sections, as at Lāhainā on Maui. (Schoenfelder)

Recognized as one of the significant puʻuhonua, and one that is well preserved and presented for the rest of us to understand was Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau on the Kona coast on the Island of Hawaiʻi.

The Place of Refuge, termed the ‘City of Refuge’ by Rev. William Ellis in 1823, with its adjoining chiefly residences. Beyond the boundaries of the "Palace Grounds", around the head of Hōnaunau Bay, lived the chiefly retainers and the commoners. South of the Place of Refuge were scattered settlements along the coast and inland under the cliffs of Keanaee.  (NPS)

“The Puhonua at Hōnaunau is a very capacious one, capable of containing a vast multitude of people. In time of war, the females, children, and old people of the neighbouring districts, were generally left within it, while the men went to battle. Here they awaited in safety the issue of the conflict, and were secure against surprise and destruction in the event of a defeat.”  (Ellis, 1823)

“These Puhonuas were the Hawaiian ‘Cities of Refuge,” and afforded an inviolable sanctuary to the guilty fugitive, who, when flying from the avenging spear, was so favoured as to enter their precincts.”  (Ellis, 1823)

“Hither the manslayer, the man who had broken a taboo, or failed in the observance of its rigid requirements, the thief, and even the murderer, fled from his incensed pursuers, and was secure. To whomsoever he belonged, and from whatever part he came, he was equally certain of admittance, though liable to be pursued even to the gates of the enclosure.”  (Ellis, 1823)

“Happily for him, those gates were perpetually open. Whenever war was proclaimed, and during the period of actual hostilities, a white flag was unfurled on the top of a tall spear, on the outside, at each end of the enclosure, and until' the conclusion of peace, waved the symbal of hope to those, who, vanquished in fight, might flee thither for protection.”

“To the spot, on which this banner was unfurled, the victorious warrior might chase his routed foes. But here he must himself fall back. Beyond it he must not advance one step, on pain of forfeiting his life.”

“The priests and their adherents - would immediately put to death anyone, who should have the temerity to follow, or molest those, who were once within the pale of the pahu tabu, and, and as they expressed it, under the shade, or skreening protection, of the spirit of Keave, the tutelar deity of the place.”  (Ellis, 1823)

A structure there, Hale-O-Keawe was erected around 1650 to serve as a temple mausoleum for the ruling chiefs of Kona. It served as the major temple for the "Place of Refuge" until 1819, when the religious laws (kapu) were abandoned.

“The appearance of the house was good. Its posts and rafters were of kauila wood, and it was said that this kind of timber was found in the upland of Napu'u. It was well built, with crossed stems of dried ti leaves, for that was the kind of thatching used.”

“The appearance inside and outside of the house was good to look at. The compact bundles of bones (pukuʻi iwi) that were deified (hoʻokuaʻia) were in a row there in the house, beginning with Keawe's near the right side of the door by which one went in and out, and going to the spot opposite the door (kuʻono).”  (John Papa ʻĪʻi)

“It is a compact building, 24 feet by 16, constructed with the most durable timber, and thatched with ti leaves, standing on a bed of lava, which runs out a considerable distance into the sea. It is surrounded by a strong fence, or paling, leaving an area in the front and at each end, about twenty-four feet wide, paved with smooth fragments of lava laid down with considerable skill.”

“Several rudely carved male and female images of wood were placed on the outside of the enclosure; some on low pedestals, under the shade of an adjacent tree; others on high posts, on the jutting rocks that hung over the edge of the water.”  (Ellis, 1823)

“The zeal of Kaʻahumanu led her as early as 1829 to visit the Hale O Keawe at Honaunau, a cemetery associated with dark superstitions, and surrounded with horrid wooden images of former generations. The regent visited the place not to mingle her adorations with her early contemporaries and predecessors to the relics of departed mortals, but for the purpose of removing the bones of twenty-four deified kings and princes of the Hawaiian race….”  (Bingham)

“… when she saw it ought to be done, she determined it should be done: and in company with Mr. Ruggles and Kapiolani, she went to the sacred deposit, and caused the bones to be placed in large coffins and entombed in a cave in the precipice at the head of Kealakekua Bay.”  (Bingham)

The puʻuhonua was deeded to Miriam Kekāuluohi, a granddaughter of Kamehameha I, in the Māhele of 1848, and it was inherited, upon her death, by Levi Haʻalelea, her second husband. In 1866, the property was auctioned by Ha‘alelea’s estate to Charles Kana‘ina, the father of William Charles Lunalilo.

Kana‘ina, however, did not pay the $5,000 bid, and Charles Reed Bishop stepped in to purchase Ha‘alelea’s land for that same amount on April 1, 1867. In 1891, six years after Pauahi’s death, Bishop deeded the land to the trustees of the Bishop Estate who leased it to one of their members, SM Damon.

Damon was responsible for the 1902 restoration work on the Great Wall and the stone platforms of two heiau, Hale O Keawe and ‘Ale‘ale‘a. The County of Hawai‘i took over Damon’s lease in 1921. That lease expired in 1961 when the then County Park was acquired by the US National Park Service.  (deSilva)

Originally established in 1955 as City of Refuge National Historical Park, Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park was renamed on November 10, 1978.

Further reconstruction consisted of four terraces and a passage between the southern end of the platform and the northern end of the Great Wall. In 1966-67 Edmund J Ladd directed the excavation and re-stabilization of the Hale o Keawe platform. Ladd's excavations in addition to historical accounts indicated that the platform did not originally have multiple tiers; therefore, the 1967 work restored the platform to its more authentic form that joins the Great Wall on its south side.

After the platform was restored, the thatched hale, wooden palisade, and kiʻi were also rebuilt on the site. Since the time of Ladd's initial reconstruction, the Hale o Keawe structure and carved wooden kiʻi have been replaced on two occasions with the most recent efforts being completed in 2004.  (NPS)

The image shows Hale O Keawe at Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau (NPS.)  I have added other images to a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014


“Aloha Waiʻaleʻale
Ka Kuahiwi o Kauaʻi”

“Such is the beginning of the ancient mele which pilgrims were formerly accustomed to sing on reaching the highest peak of the mountain, which is Waiʻaleʻale proper; at its foot lies the fabulous lake from which it takes its name.  "Rippling Water," the origin of many a wild tale, lay before us; it proved to be a very small pool.”  (Dole, The Garden Island, October 21, 1913)

“As droplets in a cloud approach the mountain, small vertical wind shear constrains their horizontal motion, while upward motion stops at the trade wind inversion or stable layer. Thus entrainment is limited and droplets grow rapidly.  Over the sea and along the coast, drops falling from the cloud usually evaporate.”

“At the mountain face, lifting cools the air. Increased condensation and turbulence accelerate drop growth through collision, as flow becomes constrained between mountain and the trade wind inversion. At the cloud-covered mountaintop, mechanical uplift stops and most of the accumulated moisture precipitates as prolonged light or moderate continuous rain.”  (Ramage)

“Hawaii now claims the wettest spots on earth.  From records covering a long period, Cherrapunji, a village at the elevation of about 4,800 feet in the Khasi hills of India, has established a rainfall average of 426 inches a year …”

“Short period observations show that Mount Waiʻaleʻale, the central peak of the island of Kauaʻi, with a height of 5,080 feet, has a yearly average of 476 inches.  Other parts of Hawaii are scarcely less damp.  Puʻu Kukui, 5,000 feet high on the island of Maui, has had a seven-year average of 396-inches.  (The Times, Arkansas, July 9, 1920)

“You all know, more or less definitely, that there is a swampy region on the top of Waiʻaleʻale – but perhaps you do not realize that this swamp extends from Waiʻaleʻale clear back to Nāpali district, comprising a great table land of some 30 or 35 square miles, lying at an elevation varying from 4,000 to 5,000 ft. No such table land is found, at this elevation on any other island.”  (The Garden Island, December 14, 1914)

In 1913, The Garden Island published a letter from George H Dole, a resident of Kauaʻi, to Judge Jacob Hardy, describing the “first ascent of the highest mountain on Kauaʻi by white men.” (1862)  The following are excerpts from that letter and article written 100-years ago (in a lot of respects, I suspect it remains much the same.)

“Permit me merely to premise that the mountain of Waiʻaleʻale, although in former times frequently visited by the natives, had never until our visit been trod by the foot of a haole.”

They left from Waimea, riding on horseback “through the cocoanut groves of the valley until we reached Kalaeokaua, where we turned off into the Makaweli valley.”

“Our general course through this valley was about northeast; as we proceeded, the road, - to use an expression from St. Paul, - waxed worse and worse; the sides of the valley became higher and more precipitous, till they reached a degree of rugged sublimity which made them worthy objects of contemplation.”

“The narrow path led us on up it winding course, now across the pure, cool waters of the brook, and now into the deep shade of a Kukui grove, from whose airy branches the brilliantly dyed little songster whistled a merry "God-speed," or the awkward Aukuʻu (black-crowned night heron) gazed with wonderment in his yellow eyes.”

“The sides of the valley gradually approached each other and increased in height. Ever and anon we paused to take breath, and as we look upon the immense perpendicular walls almost surrounding us where ‘time had notched his centuries in the eternal rock,’ our souls would be filled with astonishment and awe.”

“After a march of an hour or two the trees, which hitherto had appeared only in isolated groves, formed a dense forest, with a wild tangled undergrowth of bushes and vines and heavy grass; the hillsides became less steep than before and green with vegetation.”

“A walk of about five miles brought us to the pretty water-fall of Waikakaa, which is perhaps one hundred and fifty feet in height, - we could only give its arrow-like flakes of white foam a passing glance as they descended with a quiet roar to the dark, deep waters of the round basin beneath, and then hastened up the steep hill, richly robed in a many-tined dress of green.”

“We … lunged into the labyrinths of the primeval forest with which these high table-lands are covered, and from which we only emerged when within a short distance of Waiʻaleʻale’s summit.”

“The trees consist chiefly of Lehua, although the Kauila, ʻŌhia, Koa, and many other varieties are frequently met with. The trees throughout this forest are often covered to the depth of two or three inches with gray moss, and the ground is at frequent intervals heavily carpeted with the same material.”

“The forest became wilder, and the country more broken than ever; not far from the cave we descended into a deep ravine and traveled in the bed of the stream for about a mile, sometimes jumping from one moss-covered stone to another at an imminent risk of slipping heels over head into the chilly water, and sometimes wading with complete abandon through the sparking fluid, where it was not over our knees in depth, to the inevitable deterioration of shoe leather.”

“The smooth sloping sides of Waiʻaleʻale soon greeted our delighted eyes, and in a short time, in crossing the Wainiha stream, we said "au revoir" to the old woods, and found ourselves on an open plain, which had a gentle inclination to the west, and was covered with coarse grass; here and there were clumps of bushes, - principally lehua and ohelo”.

“(S)cattering everywhere were wild flowers, some of them vying in beauty and delicacy with the rarest gems of the garden. In low and swamp spots a small variety of silver sword was growing in such profusion that the ground seemed almost covered with a mantle of snow. This whole vicinity would be, as was remarked by one of the company, an interesting field for the explorations of a botanist.”

Waialeale lake “is of a regular, elliptical shape, its two diameters being respectively forty-seven and forty-two feet;--in short, it appears much like an ordinary fish-pond. The chief outlet is the Wainiha stream at the north-west end; the ground is so extremely level along the course of this stream that it flows for a long distance without any perceptible current, and the water would apparently flow just as well the other way.”

“There is another outlet at the south-east end of the pond; it consist of a ditch, said to have been dug by the natives in some former generation, and conducts the water east to the edge of the tremendous pali, from which the pond is distant but a few rods. This little stream trickle down among the fern and grass is the Wailua River in embryo.”

“Thus this crystal lake in miniature is the source of two large streams which empty themselves into the ocean on opposite sides of the island.”

“If we looked off from the brink of the eastern precipice, whose perpendicular height is several thousand feet, nothing was to be seen but an ocean of cloud, so illuminated by the sun as to appear like a boundless field of the whitest snow beneath our feet. It was a very fine spectacle”.

“The whole of Puna was spread out like a map before us, and an exquisitely beautiful landscape it was. As perfect a combination of dark forests, and shimmering streams, and smooth plains, and verdant hills, and blue ocean, is rarely seen; everything was in harmony, - there was nothing to offend the taste.”

“But although the eastern view was invisible, the western was still unclouded and magnificent; the whole of the western portion of the island lay spread out in quiet grandeur, rugged and for the most part densely wooded. At the northeast was the Wainiha valley, with its blue precipitous sides, forming a yawning gulf so deep that no bottom could be seen from our point of observation.”

“Many miles away in the west the mighty pali of Puʻukapele and Halemanu was strikingly apparent, stretching like a stern impassable barrier across the island, from sea to sea.”

“About four o'clock we struck our tent and set out for the lower regions ... We arrived at Waimea a little after noon the next day, feeling richly repaid for the toil of the journey, but satisfied that much remained yet unseen, and determining that we would try it again next season.”

The image shows Waiʻaleʻale.  In addition, I have included other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

George Washington Houghtailing

George Washington Houghtailing (April 7, 1817 – September 2, 1887,) a Dutchman from the Hudson-Mohawk Valley in New York, came to Hawai‘i around 1845.

He married a Hawaiian woman in 1850, and ran the Bay Horse Saloon on Bethel and Hotel Street in Honolulu.  (Cultural Surveys)

His first wife died after their daughter Sara was born (Sara married Jerome Feary.) Houghtailing remarried (Elizabeth Thompson) and had ten more children (5-boys and 5-girls,) nine of whom lived to adulthood.

During the Māhele, he was given several kuleana, later consolidated into a 15-acre tract along a road later named after him, Houghtailing Road. The family home was between School and Vineyard Streets.

“On the premises there was a large pond which had a natural spring and which also fed the lower land where we had taro patches and cultivated the other truck gardening on the land. The land was quite open.”

“We had a couple of bay horses and raised chickens and pigs for family consumption. There was a large open area fronting Houghtailing Road which was used as a park for the neighborhood kids.”  (Houghtailing Jr; Cultural Surveys)

Mr. Houghtailing located the ponds, taro fields, and rice patches from School Street to Liliha Street; other taro patches were in the area “between Pālama Street and Liliha Street, below School Street down to what in now Vineyard Street”.

The rice ponds and taro patches, usually operated by the Chinese, were cultivated up to the 1920s, when many were filled in for the development of residential subdivisions.

The Japanese took over some of the land as truck farms, and the Japanese also gradually took over the small stores once operated by the Chinese.  Additionally, the development of one of the first subdivision, the McInerny Tract was developed around 1918-1920.

“The upper part of McInerny Tract used to be planted with pineapple. The other part was more grazing and open area where guavas and other natural types of fruits, like mangoes, grew. … The sugarcane fields in the Pālama area, ran all the way up to what would be now the Dole (cannery) parking lot … extended above what is now Vineyard Street.”

“The management of that plantation at that time was the Honolulu Plantation, where the mill was located in Aiea. ... Cane growing in the Kapālama area phased out about the late ‘20s. I think.”

“The phasing out program took place because lands were being purchased by the federal government to expand military reservations, including Hickam Field.” (Houghtailing Jr; Cultural Surveys)

Back to the Bay Horse … “On Sunday the 17th inst. Geo. Houghtailing an employee of the Bay Horse Saloon was arrested for selling liquor on that date and placed under bonds. At the same time James Gibbs was arrested for selling liquor without a license at the same time and place, and also placed under bonds to appear on the following Monday.”  (Hawaiʻi Holomua, June 27, 1894)

The warrants were later seen as defective and “After the close of the prosecution the defense moved for their discharge, and the court discharged Mr. Houghtailing as there was no evidence against him, and after viewing the premises did charge  Mr. Gibbs on the grounds that there was no evidence to hold him guilty of the offence charged.”  (Hawaiʻi Holomua, June 27, 1894)

At the end of World War II, the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu saw the need for a second Catholic School on Oʻahu. The new school was named after Saint Damien de Veuster.

The Congregation of Christian Brothers, students, and parents volunteered to turn the land, which included 4-acres of taro patches and a good deal of uneven swampland into a school campus, because the company that started the construction on Damien went bankrupt.

Damien Memorial School is now situated on what was part of the Houghtailing homestead in Kapālama.

Regarding the name, the theory is that all Houghtailings and various spellings in the United States are descended from Conrad Mathias Houghtaling who emigrated from the Netherlands around 1650.

Reportedly, the correct pronunciation for Houghtailing Street (named for the family,) is Ho-tailing (Hough as in dough, not as in cough.)  (Midweek)  (Lots of information here from Houghtailing message boards, as well as Cultural Surveys.)

The image shows an advertisement for the Bay Horse Hotel (Polynesian, May 16, 1895.)   In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Liliʻuokalani Protestant Church

The queen was fond of the congregation - which once numbered in the thousands, according to church records - and donated hymnals, cut-glass chandeliers and a seven-dial, universal-calendar clock. The church was renamed for Liliʻuokalani in 1975.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves, let's step back.

Over the course of a little over 40-years (1820-1863) (the “Missionary Period”,) about 180-men and women in twelve Companies served in Hawaiʻi to carry out the mission of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Prudential Committee of the ABCFM gave the following instructions to these missionaries: "Your mission is a mission of mercy, and your work is to be wholly a labor of love. … Your views are not to be limited to a low, narrow scale, but you are to open your hearts wide, and set your marks high.”

“You are to aim at nothing short of covering these islands with fruitful fields, and pleasant dwellings and schools and churches, and of Christian civilization.”  (The Friend)  Reverend John S Emerson and his new bride Ursula Sophia Newell Emerson were part of the Fifth Company of missionaries.

Emerson was born December 28, 1800 in Chester, New Hampshire; he descended from a branch of the Emerson family emigrating from England and settling in Haverhill, Massachusetts, in 1652. Emerson left home at the age of 15 and started his studies preparing for college, and subsequently graduated from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1826.

After graduating, like so many of the Alumni of American colleges, he became a teacher before entering upon his theological studies. These were pursued for three years at Andover, where he graduated in 1830.  He anticipated becoming a missionary in India, but, yielded to a special call from the Sandwich Islands.

He married Ursula on October 25, 1831 in the old parsonage of Nelson, among the New Hampshire hills, where her father, Rev. Gad Newell, was the pastor from 1794 to 1859.  They left for the Islands a month after their wedding (November 20, 1831) and spent almost six months on board ship - arriving in the Islands May 17, 1832.

"Very soon after his arrival the 'general meeting' of the Mission assigned Mr and Mrs Emerson, to the station of Waialua, on Oʻahu."  (The Friend, April 1867) Waialua stretched along the coast for 30-miles with a population of 8,000.  They sailed from Honolulu on a small schooner to get there.

On July 24, 1832 they formed the Congregational Church at Waialua, Oahu’s second oldest Hawaiian church.  The first facility (first of four) was a hale pili (thatched house,) dedicated on September 25, 1832 (it was situated at what is today the site of Haleʻiwa Joe's on the corner of Kamehameha Highway and Haleʻiwa Road.)

"From the commencement of his labors at Waialua, he endeavored to interest his people in the diligent reading and study of the Bible. He had so arranged the reading of the Bible, that his people were accustomed to read the entire Bible through once in about three years."

"In the daily morning prayer-meeting which has been kept up for many years, at the church, and which he usually attended, he would read and comment on the chapters for the day. We recollect, some months ago to have asked an old Hawaiian, belonging to the Waialua church, how many times he had read the Bible through. His reply was "eiwa" (nine!)"  (The Friend, April 1867)

The government selected a spot for a second church to replace the first one.  An adobe building, about 100-feet by about 50-feet was built around 1840-1841 on what is now the cemetery area of the present church property.

Emerson served the Church until 1842 when he took a position as professor at the Lahainaluna Seminary on Maui, and also served as pastor of the Church at Kāʻanapali.   He published five volumes of elementary works, three of them in the Hawaiian language, and, while at Lahainaluna, was joint author, with Rev. Artemas Bishop, of an "English Hawaiian Dictionary," based on Webster's abridgment (Lahainaluna, 1845.)  He later returned to Waialua and served the congregation until 1846.

Service to the people was equally shared by Ursula.  "We are also much impressed by the well-drawn character of Ursula Newell Emerson, whose lovable personality, together with her bountiful, untiring hospitality, is a treasured memory in Hawaiʻi. She nobly rounded out the work of her husband".  (The Friend, October 1928)

A third church was built of wood in 1890 on the present location and it was this building that Queen Liliʻuokalani worshipped in when she stayed at her beach home along the banks of the Anahulu River.

"Our famous clock was donated to the church by Queen Liliʻuokalani on January 1, 1892. The clock is 32 inches in diameter, with seven functions and hands, one (of) which made one revolution every 16 years!”

“The uniqueness of this one-of-a-kind clock, is that the numerals on the clock dial telling the time were replaced with the letters of L-I-L-I-U-O-K-A-L-A-N-I, the queen's name."  (Church Moderator Kuulei Kaio, Star-Bulletin)

The present church building was built after the wooden one was declared unsafe.  In 1960, the fourth (and present) church made of cement was started.  This new building was dedicated on June 11, 1961.  (Later renovations were completed in 1985.)

Theodore Alameda Vierra was the architect for the present church.  He was born on the Big Island in 1902 to an Azorean born Portuguese father and Hawaiian-Scottish mother. He graduated from Kamehameha Schools as president of his class in 1919, graduated from college in San Francisco and later won a scholarship to Harvard University School of Architecture. Vierra was the first native Hawaiian to be admitted to the American Institute of Architecture. (HHF)

The weather vane at the top of the church steeple is in the form of an ʻIwa bird (frigate) in full flight with a fish in its mouth.  Haleʻiwa was the name of the seminary that the Emersons established in the area and the village was eventually named Haleʻiwa (house of the ʻIwa bird.)

ʻIwa is also the name of a slender leafed fern and there are 2 of these leaves at base of the vane.  The religious connotation is brought together with the fish in its mouth.  "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.  The Kingdom of Heaven is like a net that was cast into the sea gathered many kinds."  (Lots of information here from the Church website.)

The image shows the Liliʻuokalani Church in Haleiwa.  In addition, I have added others similar images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The total land area of Lānaʻi is 89,305 acres, divided into 13 ahupua‘a (traditional land divisions.)  In the traditional system, respective konohiki served as land managers over each. These konohiki were subject to control by the ruling chiefs.

At the time of the Great Māhele (1848,) lands on Lānaʻi were divided between lands claimed by King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) (40,665 acres,) which were known as the Crown Lands, and the lands to be claimed by the chiefs and people (48,640 acres,) which were called the Government Lands.

By 1907, more than half the island of Lānaʻi was in the hands of native Hawaiians. Just 14 years later, in 1921, only 208.25 acres of land remained in native Hawaiian ownership. By 1875 Walter Gibson had control, either through lease or direct ownership, of nine‐tenths of Lānaʻi’s lands. (Lānaʻi Community Plan)

When James Dole bought Lānaʻi, ranching was a thriving business under the control of George Munro. Shortly after the purchase, Dole got Munro working at removing cattle from potential pineapple lands. As soon as cattle were fattened they were sold. Ranching operations became a secondary priority to pineapple development.

During 1923, the company embarked on making major improvements to the island of Lānaʻi.  At first, Dole wanted to name the town Pine City, but the post office department objected because there were too many "pine" post offices in the mainland United States.  So the plantation town was called Lānaʻi City.

Dole hired Mr. Root, an engineer, to lay out and plan the town. Root arrived at Mānele Bay to begin his work. He designed the central park with a symmetrical grid of residential streets, which remains the configuration of Lānaʻi City today.” (Lānaʻi Community Plan)

Between 1922 and 1992, pineapple plantation operations provided the people of Lānaʻi with a way of life.  James Doles’ Hawaiian Pineapple Company evolved and many of the innovations in cultivation, equipment design, harvesting, irrigation and labor relations developed on the Lānaʻi plantation, and came to be used around the world. (Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center)

Mānele Bay was the main port of entry for Lānaʻi; its primary purpose was to ship pineapple off the island. On the eastern side of the island, remnants of Halepalaoa Landing can be seen; this was used primarily to ship cattle. It's also reported that in the late 1800s, a steamer landing was located on the western shore of Lānaʻi Island and served as a docking grounds.

A new harbor was needed.  In 1923 to 1926, Kaumālapaʻu Bay, a natural, sheltered cove on the southwest side of Lānaʻi, was developed into the main shipping harbor from which pineapple and all major supplies for Lānaʻi were shipped and received.

“… we learned that the breakwater is composed of 116,000-tons of rock blasted from the cliffs and dropped into the water.  The Kaumalapau harbor entrance is 65-feet deep, and the minimum depth of the harbor is 27-feet.  The wharf is 400-feet long and the boat landing is 80-feet in length.”  (Lanai “The Pineapple Kingdom, 1926)

Bins filled with pineapple were unloaded from the trucks (steam cranes were still used through the 1960s), and placed on the barges for shipping to the cannery at Iwilei, Honolulu, Oʻahu. Tug boats were used to haul the barges - empty bins and supplies to Lānaʻi, and filled pineapple bins to the cannery.

Because of the demands of work at Kaumālapaʻu, Lānaʻi’s “second city” was developed, and known as “Harbor Camp.” The Harbor Camp included around 20 homes and support buildings, and sat perched on the cliffs above Kaumālapaʻu Bay.  (Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center)

Surmising from the vast archaeological features on the cliffs above Kaumālapaʻu Gulch, Kaumālapaʻu Harbor was probably a very important settlement (seasonal and/or permanent) for native Hawaiians. (Social Research Pacific)

Access to fishing, whether by boat or off the shoreline, is easily attained at Kaumālapaʻu.  One of the sites immediately mauka of the harbor is called “Fisherman's Trail.” In the 1862 letter requesting settlement and use of Lānaʻi, even Gibson indicated the importance of fishing as the primary source of subsistence for the island's inhabitants.

The village of Kaunolu, just to the south of Kaumālapaʻu was known as a "fishing village". Given its proximity to Kaumālapaʻu, it is highly likely that neighboring Kaumālapaʻu also offered good fishing grounds to Hawaiians. The Kaumālapaʻu Trail extends from Lānaʻi City down to Kaumālapaʻu.   (Social Research Pacific)

In the Māhele, the ahupuaʻa of Kamoku and Kalulu (which adjoin the existing Kaumālapaʻu Harbor) were retained by the King (Kamehameha III), though the 'ili of Kaumālapaʻu 1 & 2 were given by the King to the Government.

The Kaumālapaʻu Harbor breakwater was in disrepair for many years following several hurricanes and seasonal storms.  Completed in 2007, 40,000-tons of new stone was added to the reshaped breakwater, 800 concrete Core-Locs (each weighing 35 tons) were put in place and a 5-foot- thick concrete cap was cast on top of the breakwater to complete the project.  (Traylor)

Today, as in the early 1920s, Kaumālapaʻu Harbor is the main commercial seaport and Lānaʻi’s lifeline to the outside world, with weekly Young Brothers’ barge and other commercial activity in and out of Lānaʻi.

The image shows initial construction of the Kaumālapaʻu facilities (1924) (Lanai-PineappleKingdom.)  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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